March 25, 2013

King of Kings

Yesterday was Palm Sunday and I have to confess that Palm Sunday is always one of the worship gatherings that I look forward to the most.

It's not all the praise and celebration of Easter. It's not the warm fuzzy joy of Christmas. It is the solemn reminder of why Jesus came to Earth. It is the beginning of his trek to his own death. His voluntary death.

We had our Palm branches that we waved while singing Hosannah at the beginning of the service. Then read through Jesus's final week, starting at the triumphal entry and ending with his committing his spirit into the Father's hands.

One of the most moving portions of the service was when The Reproaches were read (see below) and the congregation responded by saying the words in bold out loud.

The Reproaches

O my people, O my church, 
what have I done to you,
or in what have I offended you?
Answer me,
I led you forth from the land of Egypt
and delivered you by the waters of baptism,
but you have prepared a cross for your Savior.
Holy God, have mercy upon us.

I led you through the desert forty years, 
and fed you with manna:
I brought you through tribulation and penitence,
and gave you my body, the bread of heaven,
but you have prepared a cross for your Savior.
Holy God, have mercy upon us.

My peace I gave, which the world cannot give,
and wash your feet as a sign of my love,
but you draw the sword to strike in my name
and seek high places in my kingdom.
I offer you my body and blood,
but you scatter and deny and abandon me,
and you have prepared a cross for your Savior.
Holy God, have mercy upon us.

I came to you as the least of your brothers and sisters;
I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was a stranger and you did not welcome,
naked and you did not clothe me,
sick and in prison and you did not visit me,
and you have prepared a cross for your Savior.
Holy God, have mercy upon us.

There is something about calling out to God as a whole body of believers that makes chills run across my skin. We are collectively begging for God's mercy. We, as a whole, are asking for His grace and mercy. That is just so profound and powerful.

At the end of the service was were dismissed in silence...each one filing out of the pews, the room quiet, our hearts pondering the sacrifice of Jesus, our minds trying take in all that it means to give of ourselves fully.

There is much to ponder. There is much to take in. And there is so much to gain from understanding and loving the One and Only who gave of Himself for us.

So what does Palm Sunday mean to you? Does your church do anything special for that day? 

5 comments:

  1. I've always loved how our home church has kids walk down the center aisle with palm leaves on Palm Sunday.

    Yesterday I had a different sort of Palm Sunday experience. My mom led worship as a guest at a newer church. So I drove down for that. It was a small gathering and the worship was simple...but profound. I heard the song Victor's Crown by Darlene Zscehch for the first time, too. A-ma-zing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Melissa! What a meaningful service it must have been to have your mother lead worship. I've never heard the Victor's Corwn, but I love Darlene Zscehch, so I will definitely be checking it out!

      Delete
  2. That was beautiful! I loved reading it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jessica. You are always so encouraging!

      Delete
  3. That sounds like an incredible experience!
    What always strikes me around Palm Sunday is how easily swayed we humans are, one moment everyone is praising God, the next it's the cross... A reminder to guard against following the crowd I guess.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...